ORNL has achieved a Guinness World Records title for the trim-and-drill tool it produced for Boeing. At 17.5 feet long, 5.5 feet wide and 1.5 feet tall, the tool is officially the world’s largest solid 3D-printed object. (Photo credit: Oak Ridge National Laboratory/DOE)
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) recently made history by producing the world’s largest 3D-printed object. Verified by Guinness World Records, the object is actually a tool that will be utilized by Boeing as it builds the wings for its 777X passenger jet. This new tool is cheaper and, if you can believe it, lighter and just as strong as the metal tools Boeing currently uses when constructing its aircraft.
The object that Boeing printed for use took only 30 hours to make and was created at ORNL’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility and 3D printed on the lab’s Big Area Additive Manufacturing machine.
The attention and recognition by Guinness World Records brings plenty of positive publicity to ORNL’s large-scale additive manufacturing composites R&D. Vlastimil Kunc, leader of ORNL’s polymer materials development team, stated that by “using 3D printing, we could design the tool with less material and without compromising its function.”
While this isn’t the first 3D printing that ORNL has produced, it is the largest. Other widely publicized 3D printed objects from the laboratory include a fully functional Shelby Cobra sports car, a Jeep, and even a house.
To view a brief video of the DOE lab’s project, click here.
To read the original press release on ORNL’s site, visit https://www.ornl.gov/news/3d-printed-tool-building-aircraft-achieves-guinness-world-records-title.